zombie

Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018)

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The final installment of George A. Romero’s original zombie trilogy is given a re-imagining that holds its own in this film from director Hèctor Hérnandez Vicens.

Zoe Parker is a medical school student who has been working at an internship at a center where she is constantly approached by patient Max. Max has an obsession with Zoe, even going as far as tattooing her name on his arm. To celebrate the success of the last day of the internship, Zoe goes to a party where tragedy ensues. When Max attempts to assault Zoe, a cadaver comes to life and bites Max. This leads into the first of what would become a major zombie outbreak with Zoe becoming the only survivor.

Five years have passed and since witnessing the outbreak, Zoe decides to track down a cure for the disease. Zoe’s objective is to head to an abandoned bunker to do her research with the likes of her boyfriend Baca, Baca’s brother Miguel, and others. En route to the bunker, their transportation breaks down. This leads to the group doing what it takes to get to the bunker. When they finally arrive, Zoe learns of a shocking revelation, one that could be the key to finding the cure to stop and finally end the zombie outbreak.

1985’s Day of the Dead would be the final of the original zombie trilogy from the late great George A. Romero. The film has a zombie outbreak with survivalists in a military bunker. While that film would end in a more shocking manner, this reimagining takes that story and adds some major twists and turns that prove to be vital and in fact, from a scientific point of view, brings up a possible realistic manner in terms of finding a cure for the outbreaks.

The script by Mark Tonderai and Lars Jacobsen wisely took the core elements of the original film and under the direction of Hèctor Hérnandez Vinces, successfully makes it its own entity. In the original, there are zombies who are made to be docile, notably the character of “Bub”, played by Sherman Howard. In this film, “Bub” is replaced by Max, played by Jonathan Schaech. Max is first seen a creepy fellow who has an obsession with the potential heroine Zoe, played by Sophie Skelton. However, in the scene where he is ready to assault her, he is attacked by a zombie but just when you thought Schaech was making a cameo, he proves to be the pivotal supporting character that proves to be the catalyst for Zoe to do what is necessary to accomplish her mission.

This time around, the insane military officer that thinks all zombies should be dead no matter what is the character of Miguel Salazar, played by Jeff Gum. In an interesting move, the name of the character was also used in the original film as played by Anthony DiLeo Jr. In the original, Miguel was the boyfriend of the lead character, but here the boyfriend role goes to Baca, Miguel’s younger brother, played by Marcus Vanco. Baca is a really sympathetic character and stands by Zoe, even when a small rift is imminent.

In an age where CGI is primarily used, Vinces opts to take the practical effects approach and it becomes a very smart move. This is the piece de resistance as the film does bring a true homage to the Romero classic in terms of the zombie kills. Disembowlments, bites, and just sheer gore is displayed quite well in the film. However, unlike most horror films today, there is a sense of emotion that helps complement the terror that plagues the film.

While a loose 2008 remake didn’t fare well with fans, this 2017 reimagining of Day of the Dead, does bring a sense of emotion and a somewhat realistic scientific twist to the film. If you are curious or want to see a zombie film with an actual story, this may be just for you.

WFG RATING: B+

Saban Films and Millennium Media presents a Campbell/Grobman Films in association with Nu Boyana. Director: Hèctor Hérnandez Vicens. Producers: Christa Campbell, Lati Grobman, Boaz Davidson, James Glenn Dudelson, Robert Franklin Dudelson, and Jeff Rice. Writers: Mark Tonderai and Lars Jacobson; based on the 1985 film “Day of the Dead” by George A. Romero. Cinematography: Anton Ognianov. Editing: Damien Drago and Ivan Ivanov.

Cast: Sophie Skelton, Jonathan Schaech, Marcus Vanco, Jeff Gum, Mark Rhino Smith, Lillian Blakenship, Shari Watson, Lorina Kamburova, Rachel O’Meara, Cristina Serafini, Luke Cousins, Nathan Cooper, Nick Loeb, Bashar Rahal.

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“Zombie with a Shotgun” Needs Your Help

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A new independent horror film has begun, but it will need your help to keep going to complete the film via GoFundMe.

Zombie with a Shotgun promises to break the stereotypes of the zombie sub-genre of horror films and production had started as a 2012 web series and now, it is in hopes to become a feature length film.

The story follows Aaron who isn’t sure if he is infected with the zombie virus or some other infection. He takes this journey with his girlfriend Rachel and his shotgun where they both find out the deep secrets among the zombie virus and their love life. In other words, in a role reversal, the zombies will become the heroes and the humans will be the enemy.

The film is written and being directed by Hilton Ariel Ruiz and stars Kyle HesterBraeden BaadeKathryn Kuhn, and Brandi Satterfield.

The goal to complete the film is $20,000 and to this day, the GoFundMe has reported a donation value of $9,459. If you would like to help, go to the Zombie with a Shotgun official GoFundMe page.

For more information, check out the official ZwaS Twitter page.

TRAILER: Zombie Fight Club (2014)

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2014, Sun Entertainment Limited

Director:
Joe Chien
Producers:
Gordon Chan
Paco Wong
Paul Cheng
Writer:
Joe Chien
Cast:
Andy On (Andy)
Jessica Cambensy (Jenny)
Jack Kao (Wu Ming)
Michael Wong (Captain Ma)
Terence Yin (Brother Fung)
Candy Yuen (Jailer Leader)
MC Hotdog (Tiger)
Derek Tsang (David)
Abby Fung (Nana)
Ku Pao-Ming (Uncle Liang)
Frankie Ng (Mr. B)
Philip Ng (Brawler)

Part-Walking Dead, part-Fight Club, this zombie film from director Joe Chien definitely brings a B-movie feel to the film that makes good use of its two lead stars.

In an apartment building in Hong Kong, Jenny is eagerly waiting for her boyfriend David when Tiger, David’s friend shows up with some girls just for him. Jenny reluctantly lets Tiger and the girls in where they decide to party with some drugs he brought in. However, the drugs turned out to be tainted and the result turns many into zombies. Meanwhile, a SWAT team has arrived at the building to nab a criminal and they soon find themselves the victims of the zombie horde. One SWAT member, Andy, manages to survive and helps Jenny escape.

However, despite the escape attempt, both Andy and Jenny, along with some of the other survivors have been captured and forced into an underground prison. It is there to their horror, a one-time mild-mannered science teacher, has become the leader of the underground. He forces the survivors to compete in death matches against the remaining zombies. As Andy and Jenny attempt to band the survivors together, a dark secret plagues the leader of the underground and it is up to Andy and Jenny to continue surviving to escape the underground once and for all.

Joe Chien, a Taiwanese director, has become the one to capitalize of the current resurgence of the zombie craze. After his debut film, Zombie 108, he returns with an idea to have survivor face zombies in armed and unarmed combat. However, what he wisely does is create a setup for the titular “zombie fight club” by staging the start of the zombie apocalypse in an apartment building caused by tainted drugs. The first near hour of the film is set in the building where it looks like a meshing between Resident Evil and The Walking Dead.

The film’s two leads, Andy On and Jessica Cambensy, make the most of their roles as the SWAT officer and young woman who are forced to survive the deadly apocalypse. On gets to put his action skills to good use while Cambensy changes from a damsel in distress to someone who must do what it takes to survive, especially seen in one part of the second half of the film. However, she still has a misunderstanding of all the events. Jack Kao undergoes the most change of the film, going from a simple mild-mannered teacher and loving father to a cruel underground leader who has a notion of perhaps punishing the survivors because he lost his daughter Nana, played by Abby Fung, during the film’s first hour. Michael Wong, Terence Yin, and Philip Ng make the most of their short appearances in the film as well.

The zombie make up is nicely done as are the limited amount of stunts and action scenes courtesy of Philip Ng. However, the film’s major flaw comes in any use of CGI effects used because compared to the practical make up effects, the CGI just looks so bad that a child may as well have done them. They just look amateurish. If Chien had stuck to just using practical effects, it would have made for a better movie in terms of making it a true B-movie, but it is safe to say that this has the feel of a meshing of 80’s/90’s horror movie and terrible amateur production.

Zombie Fight Club has more good points than bad points. Andy On and Jessica Cambensy make the most of their roles, but it all boils down to having some very atrocious CGI effects that flaws what could be a heck of a B-movie.

WFG RATING: C+

DVD/BLU-RAY

Sint (2010)

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From the director of the international horror hits The Lift (1983) and Amsterdamned (1988) comes this holiday thriller, revolving around the legend of Saint Nicholas.

In the Netherlands, December 5 is usually a day of celebration as they celebrate Saint Nicholas. The legend is that St. Nick is a bishop who comes to town to bring presents to all the good children of Holland. However, according to an urban legend, Nicholas is actually a child murderer who strikes whenever there is a full moon on December 5. In 2010, a full moon falls on Amsterdam on December 5.

Detective Goert Hoekstra is put on indefinite leave when he proposes a boycott of the holiday due to past events. As a child, Goert had seen his family massacred by what he believes is the ghost of St. Nicholas. While no one of the force believes his story, bodies begin to pop up, including that of local college girl Sophie. When Frank, Sophie’s ex-boyfriend, is framed for her murder and the murders of his friends, the police are shocked to discover St. Nicholas riding his horse on the rooftops of Amsterdam. When Frank is able to escape after the chase, he meets Goert. Together, they plan to stop St. Nicholas and his reign of terror once and for all.

There have been many controversial holiday horror films, including the 1984 cult classic Silent Night, Deadly Night. Where that film featured a serial killer dressed as Santa Claus, SAINT features the zombified ghost of Saint Nicholas. Writer/director Dick Maas nearly caused an uproar in his native Netherlands with the film. However, the film overall is proven to be one of his good films.

In an interesting reversal of trademark, Maas has cast one his favorite actors, Huub Stapel, in the villain role. Stapel, who played the hero in both of Maas’ international films The Lift and Amsterdamned, appears as the evil Saint Nicholas, or Niklas in Dutch. The opening is set in 1492, where Niklas and the Black Piets ravage a small village only to have the tables turned on them when they are burned to death.

In the role of the elder detective is Bert Luppes. Luppes tends to overplay his performance in the role of Goert, who as a kid, saw his family murdered at the hands of Nicholas, who had become zombified. While no one believes his story, he proves to be the only one who is correct only to find a believer in local college boy Frank, played with at times comic relief by Egbert-Jan Weeber. The lead female roles, played by Caro Lenssen (daughter of popular Dutch actress Renee Soutendijk) and Escha Tanuhati are practically there to just sit there and in the case of the latter, get killed.

Despite the bad acting, the highlights are the death scenes and in the vein of Amsterdamned, a spectacular stunt sequence. The deaths are at times very gruesome with lots of impalements and a very nicely done decapitation from Nicholas’ curves staff. The nicely shot stunt scene involves Nicholas riding on his horse jumping on the rooftops of Amsterdam. Now, this looks to have been done by a combination of greenscreen technology and CGI, but it still looked pretty impressive for this type of film. Kudos goes out to stunt coordinator Willem de Beulaker for pulling this off as well as a nicely done car stunt involving Weeber taking on members of the Black Piets, Nicholas’ zombie henchmen.

Sint is definitely a pretty good Dick Maas horror film. While the controversy revolves around Holland’s St. Nick, Maas has crafted a great film in the vein of Silent Night, Deadly Night and mixes it with some great stunts. It is clear why Dick Maas is truly one of the most underrated directors to come from the Netherlands.

WFG RATING: B

A Tom De Mol Productions Films in association with Parachute Pictures and A-Film Distribution. Director: Dick Maas. Producers: Dick Maas and Tom De Mol. Writer: Dick Maas. Cinematography: Guido van Gennep. Editing: Bert Rijkelijkhuizen.

Cast: Egbert-Jan Weeber, Caro Lenssen, Bert Luppes, Escha Tenihatu, Huub Stapel.